Kingston Permaculture Reserve (KPR) at Knollmeadwas founded in 1992. From humble beginnings on a disused acre of waterlogged land in the Knollmead Allotments, the site has grown to become a site of special biodiversity and cultural value.
Permaculture is the design of an ecologically sound way of living. It empowers individuals to be resourceful, self-reliant and a conscious part of the solution to local and global problems. It was a precursor to the Transition movement; see the Permaculture Association website for more information.
The aim of the Knollmead site was to show that land can be productive without compromising wildlife habitats or the long-term health of the planet. It now yields a great volume and variety of fruit and woodland products, as well as supporting a host of wildlife such as birds, frogs, snakes and lizards. In early 2004 a KPR group re-formed to manage this ecological oasis for the community and the environment.
- To maintain and enhance Kingston Permaculture Reserve as a natural source of inspiration for the local community
- To maintain a refuge for wildlife, especially species associated with hedgerows and damp vegetated areas
- To showcase the principles of permaculture to the community
- To learn and refine the practice of permaculture in the Kingston context
- To reduce demand for products from unsustainable sources
Each month an expanding group of some six to thirty volunteers meets to enjoy and manage the site. Recent management has included managing the forest garden, raised beds, pond-ditch system and meadow; planting an increasing range of food plants; creating a tree nursery; and woven creations such as a new willow “horse”. Our reward, besides the outdoor fun and conscience-cleaning, is the harvest of succulent apples, pears, plums, damsons, blackberries, quinces, rosehips and other fruits, many of them rare and ancient British varieties, along with the burgeoning range of vegetables and herbs. We are gradually gathering information on the wildlife using the site, and improving our records of yields and other functions, to help our collective learning on how to meet the pressing challenges of resource needs and climate change.
An active KPR group will continue to engage the community, and draw strength from their involvement and support. Kingston upon Thames Local Exchange Trading Scheme (KUTLETS) and Transition Town Kingston are a great source of support and many of our regular members belong to these and other local groups.
Our usual session is on the last Sunday afternoon of the month, with some extra evening sessions in the summer. Watch the TTK website for announcements of forthcoming work/play sessions at Knollmead, or contact Simone Kay tel. 07737277470
By road: At Tolworth roundabout turn into Barnsbury Lane. Right at Hazel Bank, left at Alpine Avenue and follow signs for Knollmead Primary School. Leave vehicle on the road and walk (or bring bicycle) into allotment site. Keep to the right: turn right at T-junction (compost bins made of pallets) and our site is at the end of the track, past the new Kingston Orchard Project site and through our woven gate. Please avoid driving on site.
By rail: From Tolworth Station (on the Chessington-Waterloo line) cross the Kingston Road (A240) and go along Donald Woods Gardens, then on through to Alpine Avenue, right to Knollmead Primary School and as above.
Regular transition events
Kingston Orchard Working Party
Kingston Orchard Project runs working parties every Sunday 2-4pm at Knollmead Allotments Tolworth, KT5 9QP
Permaculture at Knollmead
Some Sunday afternoons. Contact Simone at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07737 277 470 for info and dates
From the Ground Up
Weekly food scheme bringing local, affordable, organic fresh food to the RBK. Venues in both Kingston and Surbiton.
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